Master gardeners host monarch migration celebration | TribLIVE.com
More Lifestyles

Master gardeners host monarch migration celebration

Mary Pickels
1545047_web1_gtr-liv-monrachs1-081919
Courtesy of Jackie Hochard
A tagged monarch butterfly.
1545047_web1_gtr-liv-monarchs2-081919
Facebook | Journey North
A paper butterfly ready for "symbolic migration."

Children ages 5 to 12 are invited to learn about the fascinating world of monarch butterflies as Westmoreland County Master Gardeners host a “Monarch Migration Celebration.”

The free event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 7 at Penn State Extension’s Donohoe Center, 214 Donohoe Road, Hempfield.

The master gardeners will present an interactive monarch migration workshop, where children can learn how butterflies migrate and discover the challenges they face while traveling to and from their winter “home” in Mexico.

“This is a new event for us,” master gardener Linda Hyatt says.

Also planned are a puppet show, live music and creation of butterfly-themed crafts.

“I’ve wanted to do this for 10 years. It’s so interesting and so fun,” master gardener Jackie Hochard says.

As part of a nationwide children’s program, youngsters can participate in a “symbolic migration,” a program Hochard has done with area church and school groups.

They will make paper butterflies that will travel (by mail) to children in Mexico who live near the monarchs’ winter sanctuaries. The Mexican children will shelter the paper butterflies over the winter and return them in spring, completing a symbolic journey coinciding with the monarchs’ migration.

The master gardeners’ program will pick up the cost for children who participate in the Sept. 7 event, Hochard says.

She hopes to encourage more area teachers to participate as well, allowing classrooms of students to track their paper butterflies and learn about their life cycles.

Children will see demonstrations of how butterflies are tagged so their migration can be monitored.

Those attending are invited to wear wings or a butterfly costume. The day will conclude with a migration celebration parade and butterfly release.

“We are not doing a 400-plus butterfly release,” Hochard says. “We will take whatever butterflies we have that day from those of us (master gardeners) who raised them and tag and release. We will open up the cages and let them go.”

Adults are invited to pick up milkweed plants at the pollination information center and learn how to create a backyard habitat to support monarchs and other pollinators.

Guests can visit the Donohoe Center demonstration gardens, which include a variety of pollinator-friendly plants.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Walk-ins are welcome, but registration is requested by visiting the master gardeners’ Facebook page or eventbrite.com.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.